Thank you for the days

We’re about to get a flood of stories updating us on the latest news involving various Oilers. Someone spent the summer in a gym, someone else worked on their power skating and still another spent time boxing or lifting Lorries on the side of the road. Someone from the same country as someone else will be a great mentor (oldest one mentor, younger one eager) and someone strengthened his legs running up the hill in Walter Payton’s backyard. It is the annual ‘how I spent my summer vacation’ and, even though we know it’s coming and some of it will be ridiculous, there’s something familiar in a good way about hearing the news. Hockey is back, ladies and men. Thank you for the days.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic is making some major additions across Canada today, it’s an exciting time. Daniel Nugent-Bowman has joined our gang and I’ll be interviewing him on the Lowdown at 11:05 this morning. Jonathan Willis’ team includes Daniel, Minnia Feng, Pat McLean and yours truly this year, plus the fabulous contributors from the national desk like Tyler Dellow, Corey Pronman and Dom Luszczysyn (who has a great item up today, link below). Special offer is here, less than $4 a month! Also, don’t forget to join us later this month (September 24, The Rec Room) for a get together and general merriment. I’m thrilled to be part of this group, hope you join us on the 24th.

JOE GAMBARDELLA

I pay attention to prospects more than anything, watching them progress from unknown to reliable contributors. I follow the scouting reports and track the numbers. Unlike the NHL, there’s a lot we don’t know about prospects playing in most of the rest of the leagues. We don’t know the at-bats (time on ice) so there’s always going to be a gap in knowledge. So, I count arrows, good and bad. Joe Gambardella doesn’t get a lot of love and we may never see him in Edmonton, but I think there might be a player here. Let’s start just before his Oilers career. He had a helluva two-way reputation coming out of college.

  • Ryan Lambert, Yahoo Sports: The game Lowell brings to the table every season is hard forechecking and cycling, but few lines have done it to the level of perfection Gambardella, Smith, and Edwardh brought this year. They create so many own-zone turnovers that end up in the back of the net, and leave opposing coaches shaking their heads. Coaches tend to categorize these things as uncharacteristic mistakes, and to some extent that’s true. But the mistakes are very characteristic of what happens when you play the River HawksSource

Gambardella entered pro hockey last season and didn’t score a bunch until late in the year. I’m curious about him for two reasons: His skills are somewhat unique among Oilers prospects, and his offense may be more than what the boxcars imply.

CONDORS 5-on-5 GOALS-PER-GAME (FORWARDS)

  1. Ty Rattie 0.25
  2. Joe Gambardella 0.24
  3. Joey Laleggia 0.18
  4. Dave Gust 0.17
  5. Brad Malone 0.16
  6. Patrick Russell 0.15
  7. Josh Currie 0.15
  8. Source

Gambardella was injured for much of the early portion of the season, came back in the new year and his offense improved. Then he went on a tear in early March and maybe he finally found the range.

  • October 2017: 6, 1-1-2
  • November 2017: 8, 2-1-3
  • December 2017: 1, 0-0-0
  • January 2018: 10, 2-3-5
  • February 2018: 7, 0-0-0
  • March 2018: 12, 7-0-7
  • April 2018: 6, 1-1-2

In late January, Paul Gazzola wrote a fine piece for the team website about him, and asked Gambardella about what things he was working on:

  • Gambardella: “Trying to work on a quicker release for my shot and different types of skating techniques. You can always improve in any aspect of the game and for me right now, I’m just trying to get a quicker release off and my skating can always get better.”

Music! Gambardella is a new prospect but not a young one. He’ll be 25 on the first of December this year, so his time is now. I think Gambardella has a better chance than we can see from here because of what he brings to the game.

In his 1987 Baseball Abstract, Bill James talked a lot about rookies. The 1986 American League produced a large number of impressive bats (Jose Canseco, Ruben Sierra, Wally Joyner, Cory Snyder, Danny Tartabull) but not many players who had the gloves or arms in the field. James stated that would be the achilles of the draft year and he was right. Injuries and quick moves to the less demanding positions along the defensive spectrum spelled shorter careers and smaller arcs on the curve than those rookie numbers implied.

I think this year will see a lot of change up front, the Oilers are going to make some decisions on players like Drake Caggiula, Jujhar Khaira and Pontus Aberg. I’ve learned over the years that betting on one over another to make it (at a certain talent level) is folly, because luck and coaching preference plays such a big role. That said, if Gambardella can score at a solid rate in the AHL, while continuing to play a consistent two-way game, he’s going to be right there when one of the young NHL forwards flushes from the league. That may happen this season.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, it’s going to be a fun day (we’ll probably get the Oilers rookie camp list in the next 30 hours). Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. The Oilers new third jerseys are out, I like them but wonder why Al Hamilton’s number doesn’t appear. I’ll ask Bruce his opinion.
  • Daniel Gallen, Penn Live. We’ll chat about the Philadelphia Eagles and their chances of winning a second Super Bowl in a row.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman, new writer for The Athletic Edmonton. Excited to be the first media to interview Daniel, who’ll be covering the Oilers for The Athletic and providing you with outstanding insight. His introductory article is here. We’ll get to know Daniel a little at 11:05 this morning.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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72 Responses to "Thank you for the days"

  1. frjohnk says:

    Daniel Nugent-Bowman?

    Good sports reporter. Nice find for the Athletic.

    Half brother to Ryan-Nugent-Hopkins or something?

  2. Lowetide says:

    frjohnk:
    Daniel Nugent-Bowman?

    Good sports reporter.Nice find for the Athletic.

    Half brother to Ryan-Nugent-Hopkins or something?

    Lol. That will be my first question. We’re going to have a great season at The Athletic Edmonton, lots of great writers onboard. Daniel’s writing is terrific, his item on the 1980 Memorial Cup is my favourite.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yes, it seems you’ve been higher on Joe G. than I have from the start and even through his somewhat disappointing rookie pro season. I remember having a good feeling about Joe G. coming in to last season – as an older player with a more developed/mature 2-way game, there were thoughts that maybe he’d earn an NHL cup of coffee.

    Its nice to see the goals per game stat but I would still say that it was a disappointing season for Joe G. as he never put himself in the conversation.

    The question is did he find the range later in the year or was March simply an outlier?

    He’ll have some more help offensively this year.

  4. Wilde says:

    Interesting approach to the beat, looking forward to reading

    and also

    I think responsible forwards like Gambardella will help the young players, but I’d like to see it balanced out by an additional, more offensive hire.

    The Condors are gaining Benson & Marody and possibly Yamamoto, but they’re losing their third-from-lead scorer.

    For example, T.J. Tynan was a very potent junior scorer that was scoring prolifically at non-top line minutes in Columbus’ system, and the Knights signed him for two years and added him to the Finnish version of the same, Teemu Pulkinnen, and they scored 125 points combined on the Chicago Wolves, a team ending with a 43-win record.

    It’s important that these young wingers play with skill. There’s no surplus of skill in the system, they need to hit at a reasonable rate, ie getting two of Marody, Benson, Maksimov, Safin and McLeod to hit.

  5. anjinsan says:

    Various fans often ascribe responsibility for moves since the draft of ’15 to the old boys club.
    I think it’s important to remember that Lowe and MacTavish were removed from posts and replaced by the cascade of Nicholson, Chiarelli, and McLellan so as not to blow the McDavid years. And Chiarelli obviously insisted on being President in addition to GM so he would have control. Chiarelli did not take the job in order to have the old boys club tell him what to do. The trades, contracts, and the team building vision are all Chiarelli’s doing — and his moves have been consistent with his past moves.

  6. Westchester Oil says:

    Interesting that Dom’s Oilers preview at the Athletic has 4 Oilers below replacement value – Caggiula, Kassian, Russell and Gravel. Every team is going to have replacement level + below players – but ideally they’d all be at $1 million or less cap hits.

    Dom doesn’t give much love to Adam Larsson either, which I think is unjustified.

  7. flea says:

    Like the new retros, and I wish they were wearing them more than 4 times. Is the pylon orange colour getting changed on the regular jerseys? I swear to god it’s why the PK was so bad, it’s so easy to spot in your peripheral vision. Maybe not the only really but gawd I hate those jerseys. I didn’t mind their playoff orange jerseys, it was a little softer than the new ones.

    Please let them also change the goal song! Can we finally get player specific goal songs? That would be the best!

  8. Melvis says:

    I’d like to see Bruce on the Athletic team – a good writer and he knows his stuff.

  9. dustrock says:

    Melvis:
    I’d like to see Bruce on the Athletic team – a good writer and he knows his stuff.

    Me too, but if he leaves Cult of Hockey there’s just no reason to go there anymore.

  10. Melvis says:

    hunter1909: Even more important to remember is neither have left the organization. No idea what you do for a living but I’ve never seen sacked employees kept on with salaries – the dynamics are too great for me to even bother with – hopefully one of the more literate posters can illustrate the insanity of what’s going on behind closed doors with Lowe+MacT running around the corridors of power.

    They probably had a lot to do with letting young Katz into the room. Why Katz was an exception to thousands of other kids is a mystery to me. What isn’t a mystery is the owner’s significant onus on loyalty. Given and received.

    There’s nothing particularly wrong with loyalty until one becomes a slave to an ideal that’s detrimental to an organization, or one’s personal sense of well being.

  11. dustrock says:

    Westchester Oil:
    Interesting that Dom’s Oilers preview at the Athletic has 4 Oilers below replacement value – Caggiula, Kassian, Russell and Gravel. Every team is going to have replacement level + below players – but ideally they’d all be at $1 million or less cap hits.

    Dom doesn’t give much love to Adam Larsson either, which I think is unjustified.

    Well, to be fair, he points out that his model doesn’t do guys like Larsson any favours, but if we’re going by last year’s numbers/performance, Larsson was below par.

    He was fabulous at the Worlds and generally great first year we had him, I’m assuming he’ll rebound this year.

  12. dustrock says:

    Rookie camp schedule is up. Roster looks pretty familiar except maybe Luke Esposito on a tryout.

    On-ice practices this Friday and Saturday.

    Game Sunday in Calgary vs Calgary Rookies, game Tues vs Macewan/NAIT, Game Wed in Edm vs Calgary rookies

  13. --hudson-- says:

    Westchester Oil:
    Interesting that Dom’s Oilers preview at the Athletic has 4 Oilers below replacement value – Caggiula, Kassian, Russell and Gravel. Every team is going to have replacement level + below players – but ideally they’d all be at $1 million or less cap hits.

    Dom doesn’t give much love to Adam Larsson either, which I think is unjustified.

    If you’re interested he did a post mortem on his 2018 predictions earlier in the summer. He had the Oilers at 93 points last year, so he’s definitely not afraid of going against the crowd. He does acknowledge that hockey is becoming more unpredictable.
    https://theathletic.com/396507/2018/06/19/predictions-review-what-i-got-right-and-wrong-about-the-2017-18-nhl-season/

  14. John Chambers says:

    –hudson–: If you’re interested he did a post mortem on his 2018 predictions earlier in the summer.He had the Oilers at 93 points last year, so he’s definitely not afraid of going against the crowd.He does acknowledge that hockey is becoming more unpredictable.
    https://theathletic.com/396507/2018/06/19/predictions-review-what-i-got-right-and-wrong-about-the-2017-18-nhl-season/

    I’ve been enjoying Dan’s series, and in spite of a few minor qualms about how his model over- or under-values certain player types (defensive defensemen, the box-protecting Ricki standard bearers), it’s hard to argue with the prevailing logic.

    I number of Oilers players have to regain their form, or emerge into their potential. Dan has given the Oilers a wider margin for error than most other teams, but it’s disappointing to see them ranked in the bottom-10 from the outset. I would have the Oil higher than Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, and possibly Chicago and Calgary. I have the Oilers right on par with the likes of Florida and Dallas.

    At least our area of weakness (wing) has some emerging talent within the organizaion, and if the team seems competitive at the halfway point it’s not unimaginable to think we see a Pacioretty or similar added with 25 games to play.

    Could be a bottom-10 finish, could be a playoff series win (or two).

    Should be fun 🙂

  15. flea says:

    dustrock,

    I’ve got my ticket to the Wednesday game in Red Deer. Should be fun! They sold it out in a couple of days but I’m sure tickets will start popping up as we get closer to the event. It’s getting me excited for hockey a little sooner this year. Looking forward to seeing Yamamoto, Bouchard and Bear tear the Flames rookies apart!

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    I still won’t get worried until next week and won’t be really concerned until physicals:

    Reid Wilkins

    Verified account

    @ReidWilkins
    Following Following @ReidWilkins
    More
    No update from Nurse on contract talks. Says he wouldn’t come to camp without a deal. Adds “hopefully we get something done before then.”

    Jason Gregor

    Verified account

    @JasonGregor
    Following Following @JasonGregor
    More
    “It is good to be skating with the guys. I want to be part of this organization. I’m hoping to get a deal done. I’m not too worried, there are other guys (around league) in the same boat as me.” Nurse on contract. #Oilers
    11:58 AM – 5 Sep 2018

  17. 106 and 106 says:

    Lowetide,

    poor dude is already being asked that over on the Athletic and James Mirtle had to step in and join in too.

    Hope his first long form article is on the Nuge, of course.

  18. 106 and 106 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    don’t panic OP! Next week!

  19. digger50 says:

    Gambardella leaving college had an NHLE of around 42 if I remember correctly implying he had a good shot at NHL success. So far things have not worked out. Perhaps he was dealing with injury and the best is yet to come? Would be a nice surprise.

  20. Lowetide says:

    digger50:
    Gambardella leaving college had an NHLE of around 42 if I remember correctly implying he had a good shot at NHL success. So far things have not worked out. Perhaps he was dealing with injury and the best is yet to come? Would be a nice surprise.

    Yes, I think he found his way later in the year and the injury contributed to his slow start. That March run is a real eyebrow raiser.

  21. digger50 says:

    anjinsan:
    Various fans often ascribe responsibility for moves since the draft of ’15 to the old boys club.
    I think it’s important to remember that Lowe and MacTavish were removed from posts and replaced by the cascade of Nicholson, Chiarelli, and McLellan so as not to blow the McDavid years.And Chiarelli obviously insisted on being President in addition to GM so he would have control.Chiarelli did not take the job in order to have the old boys club tell him what to do.The trades, contracts, and the team building vision are all Chiarelli’s doing — and his moves have been consistent with his past moves.

    I agree that Peter ensured he had operational control before stepping into the job. However, I believe he underestimated how deep the sh**t was that he was stepping in.

    If he truly had full responsibility for that 2015 draft I cannot understand how he survived the summer. The fact that he did survive suggests to me that thier were other influences in play during that draft and beyond. That’s what got him a pass. I do not have proof of such, but it seems to be the only thing that adds up.

    If your theory is the correct one – how the heck is he still here and lord help us. It will not matter how good we draft and develop if Peter is squandering talent at his historic rate.

    And I will add this to the discussion. When Bob N public ally backed Peter he stated Peter had a plan, a good plan, and once the fans understood the plan, we would all be on board. And then the summer passed.

    Does anybody know the plan??

  22. dustrock says:

    flea,

    a fun time of year for sure. Enjoy!

  23. Oil2Oilers says:

    ‘how I spent my summer vacation’ in honor of our host and the mighty Stan Weir;

    I heard our boy Jesse lifted more weights than OriginalPouzar did, had a higher VO2 Max than a young VOR, and worked on his rhythm with Melvis.

    😉

  24. OriginalPouzar says:

    John Chambers: I’ve been enjoying Dan’s series, and in spite of a few minor qualms about how his model over- or under-values certain player types (defensive defensemen, the box-protecting Ricki standard bearers), it’s hard to argue with the prevailing logic.

    I number of Oilers players have to regain their form, or emerge into their potential. Dan has given the Oilers a wider margin for error than most other teams, but it’s disappointing to see them ranked in the bottom-10 from the outset. I would have the Oil higher than Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, and possibly Chicago and Calgary. I have the Oilers right on par with the likes of Florida and Dallas.

    At least our area of weakness (wing) has some emerging talent within the organizaion, and if the team seems competitive at the halfway point it’s not unimaginable to think we see a Pacioretty or similar added with 25 games to play.

    Could be a bottom-10 finish, could be a playoff series win (or two).

    Should be fun

    Being near the cap and using LTIR cushion, I imagine the Oilers will be above the accrual limit and will not accrue any cap space and will not be able to add a player mid-season.

    I think they would have to stay below the cap (I.e not use the LTIR cushion) and, even then, when Nurse signs, the amount under the cap may be so nominal that only a $1M player could be acquired around he deadline.

  25. Melvis says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    ‘how I spent my summer vacation’ in honor of our host and the mighty Stan Weir;

    I heard our boy Jesse lifted more weights than OriginalPouzar did, had a higher VO2 Max than a young VOR, and worked on his rhythm with Melvis.

    -I don’t even know how to spell rhythm.

  26. PunjabiOil says:

    Dom’s Oilers preview is scathing, and a lot of uncomfortable truths

    We’ll need Talbot to rebound to his previous levels for any chance.

    I don’t have any real expectations on Koskinen. The fact he played on a strong team, and his SV% was not materially better than his backup (0.937 vs 0.933) is concerning. The decision to pay him 2.5M, along with Caggiula overpay and Grbya buyout has cost opportunities to lock up Nurse long-term. They’ll pay for it down the road.

    Lucic possibly may go from difficult to trade to untradeable. Missed opportunity if there was a deal to be had this summer.

    This team, best case, makes the playoffs. They need Puljujarvi or Yamamoto to become difference makers.

    Which is a problem, 4 years into McDavid’s career.

    That Hall trade cost us a chance to be a contender.

    Man.

  27. hunter1909 says:

    Less negativity.

    – Oilers fly out of the gate with a .700 record through Christmas.

    – McDavid takes his recent schooling of the NHL when he cantered home with the Art Ross, becomes Bobby Orr 1970 levels of unstoppable – for the young that means the opposition spend the entire game worrying about McDavid being on the ice, and when he’s off they’re still worrying because they know he’s resting for the next shift and is guaranteed to scare them to death every time. Every single time.

  28. hunter1909 says:

    Honest question to my hockey betters:

    Would it be a good idea to play Nurse with McDavid as a development fast track for Nurse? Nurse is a fairly good player with potential to spare. Also he’s tough which McDavid unfortunately still needs when they play Philadelphia/Kadri teams.

  29. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909:
    Honest question to my hockey betters:

    Would it be a good idea to play Nurse with McDavid as a development fast track for Nurse? Nurse is a fairly good player with potential to spare. Also he’s tough which McDavid unfortunately still needs when they play Philadelphia/Kadri teams.

    Are you talking about playing Nurse as a forward or having him on the ice at the same time as McDavid?

  30. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: Are you talking about playing Nurse as a forward or having him on the ice at the same time as McDavid?

    Defence

    I’ve coached a little. I often won using the philosophy: Put my good players together. I learned it from watching the Soviets.

  31. HT Joe says:

    PunjabiOil:
    That Hall trade cost us a chance to be a contender.

    The Hall trade, the contract given to Lucic, and the traded draft picks in 2015 all hurt the team in substantial ways. The Eberle trade and Russell 4-year extension were less severe issues, but issues nonetheless.

    But I still believe that firing Chia only to bring back MacT again as GM would be worse.

  32. N64 says:

    –hudson–: He had the Oilers at 93 points last year,

    ~ I have them at 93 this year, just missing the playoffs. If the orange pylon jersey was the 3rd jersey this year my advanced analytics have them in the playoffs. ~

  33. PunjabiOil says:

    HT Joe,

    I don’t disagree that MacT failed as a GM

    MacT’s paws were all over the Reinhart trade.

    And there is evidence he explored moving Hall when he was the GM.

    That doesn’t mean Peter Chiarelli was the right hire. There were red flags all over his resume, but got the job because of his connections with Nicholson and Lowe, without any sort of HR interviewing process.

  34. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909: Defence

    I’ve coached a little. I often won using the philosophy: Put my good players together. I learned it from watching the Soviets.

    I think McDavid with one of the top two pairs is preferrable, doubt the third pairing is going to move the puck expertly. So, Nurse would get something like half of 97’s minutes in an ideal world, Klefbom the rest.

  35. N64 says:

    Lowetide: I think McDavid with one of the top two pairs is preferrable, doubt the third pairing is going to move the puck expertly. So, Nurse would get something like half of 97’s minutes in an ideal world, Klefbom the rest.

    As long as the Russell reset gets 0 minutes on ice with 97 I’m all good. You don’t want to dampen all scoring when your outscorer is on the ice.

  36. HT Joe says:

    PunjabiOil,

    No disagreement on those points. If we could trust the Oilers to hire their next GM using experience and success in other organizations as metrics, I would have just said “fire Chia”.

    But I don’t have any reason to doubt that Chia’s eventual replacement will be a former Oiler player.

  37. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: I think McDavid with one of the top two pairs is preferrable, doubt the third pairing is going to move the puck expertly. So, Nurse would get something like half of 97’s minutes in an ideal world, Klefbom the rest.

    I’ll take the half.

  38. pts2pndr says:

    anjinsan:
    Various fans often ascribe responsibility for moves since the draft of ’15 to the old boys club.
    I think it’s important to remember that Lowe and MacTavish were removed from posts and replaced by the cascade of Nicholson, Chiarelli, and McLellan so as not to blow the McDavid years.And Chiarelli obviously insisted on being President in addition to GM so he would have control.Chiarelli did not take the job in order to have the old boys club tell him what to do.The trades, contracts, and the team building vision are all Chiarelli’s doing — and his moves have been consistent with his past moves.

    I will politely disagree! The people you refer to were there as trusted sources by ownership! Yes Chiarelli had final say but if you use a modicum of logic the reason Chiarelli made certain decisions shows that he consulted with Lowe and MacTavish. It is also the reason he is still GM!

  39. hunter1909 says:

    PunjabiOil: There were red flags all over his resume, but got the job because of his connections with Nicholson and Lowe, without any sort of HR interviewing process.

    Savvy post.

  40. Lowetide says:

    Bottom line: Peter Chiarelli is the general manager.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Dom’s Oilers preview is scathing, and a lot of uncomfortable truths

    We’ll need Talbot to rebound to his previous levels for any chance.

    I don’t have any real expectations on Koskinen.The fact he played on a strong team, and his SV% was not materially better than his backup (0.937 vs 0.933) is concerning.The decision to pay him 2.5M, along with Caggiula overpay and Grbya buyout has cost opportunities to lock up Nurse long-term.They’ll pay for it down the road.

    Lucic possibly may go from difficult to trade to untradeable.Missed opportunity if there was a deal to be had this summer.

    This team, best case, makes the playoffs.They need Puljujarvi or Yamamoto to become difference makers.

    Which is a problem, 4 years into McDavid’s career.

    That Hall trade cost us a chance to be a contender.

    Man.

    If they are confident that Sekera will not be activated this year, his injury does give them the ability to sign Nurse to longer term deal today. They could sign him to the Hanifin contract (just as an example – I would prefer 7-8 years), be over the cap and put Sekera on LTIR on the last day of camp.

    In the above scenario, Sekera is “deemed replaced” and they won’t have the ability to add any additional cap (it essentially caps the LTIR cushion).

    They would have more ability to go over the cap if they get cap compliant for the 1st day of the regular season and then place Sekera on LTIR.

    ———————–

    I am confident there was no deal to be made for Lucic – not one that didn’t require a material sweetener to consummate and this team is not in the position to give up picks in the first 2 rounds or any of their top 5-7 prospects to get rid of a player.

    ———————-

    I look for Jesse to establish himself as a top 6 winger this season – confident in it.

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    hunter1909:
    Honest question to my hockey betters:

    Would it be a good idea to play Nurse with McDavid as a development fast track for Nurse? Nurse is a fairly good player with potential to spare. Also he’s tough which McDavid unfortunately still needs when they play Philadelphia/Kadri teams.

    Actually, I’ve been thinking about writing a short piece on this.

    In over 500 minutes last year, McDavid and Nurse had a goal share of over 70% (and a Corsi of over 53%).

    In 800 minutes without Nurse, McDavid’s goal share falls to barely over 50% (Corsi only down to 52%).

  43. hunter1909 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Actually, I’ve been thinking about writing a short piece on this.

    In over 500 minutes last year, McDavid and Nurse had a goal share of over 70% (and a Corsi of over 53%).

    In 800 minutes without Nurse, McDavid’s goal share falls to barely over 50% (Corsi only down to 52%).

    Okay I’ll raise it to 70%.

    Funny I don’t even know how to coach. I just pick/motivate good players.

  44. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Westchester Oil:
    Interesting that Dom’s Oilers preview at the Athletic has 4 Oilers below replacement value – Caggiula, Kassian, Russell and Gravel. Every team is going to have replacement level + below players – but ideally they’d all be at $1 million or less cap hits.

    Dom doesn’t give much love to Adam Larsson either, which I think is unjustified.

    Fancy stats doesn’t know how to handle defensive defencemen because it weights shots heavier than goals. Their reasons are generally sound based on historical data, but not on recent data.

    They also don’t value QoC much or if they do, they calculate it using metrics which aren’t the best for doing that imo.

    Once puck movement data is incorporated players like Larsson, Green, Tanev etc will be more appreciated.

  45. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    –hudson–: If you’re interested he did a post mortem on his 2018 predictions earlier in the summer.He had the Oilers at 93 points last year, so he’s definitely not afraid of going against the crowd.He does acknowledge that hockey is becoming more unpredictable.
    https://theathletic.com/396507/2018/06/19/predictions-review-what-i-got-right-and-wrong-about-the-2017-18-nhl-season/

    I disagree with Dom that hockey isn’t becoming more unpredictable.

    The metrics they use to predict are becoming less useful.

  46. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    John Chambers: I’ve been enjoying Dan’s series, and in spite of a few minor qualms about how his model over- or under-values certain player types (defensive defensemen, the box-protecting Ricki standard bearers), it’s hard to argue with the prevailing logic.

    I number of Oilers players have to regain their form, or emerge into their potential. Dan has given the Oilers a wider margin for error than most other teams, but it’s disappointing to see them ranked in the bottom-10 from the outset. I would have the Oil higher than Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, and possibly Chicago and Calgary. I have the Oilers right on par with the likes of Florida and Dallas.

    At least our area of weakness (wing) has some emerging talent within the organizaion, and if the team seems competitive at the halfway point it’s not unimaginable to think we see a Pacioretty or similar added with 25 games to play.

    Could be a bottom-10 finish, could be a playoff series win (or two).

    Should be fun

    Dom was on Bob’s show today and mentioned (when prompted by Bob) that his metrics don’t measure 4v5 very well.

    4v5 was The Pit of Dispair last year for EDM and should improve dramatically if their 4v5 GA/60 from Feb on is any indication.

    Those models also (correctly) weight the previous year’s performance quite heavily.

    They don’t account for injuries impairing results, they just assume the results are the player’s normal.

  47. pts2pndr says:

    Lowetide:
    Bottom line: Peter Chiarelli is the general manager.

    This is true in so far as history will show. If you were to look at the Oilers since their inception the hiring of Dallas Eakins and replacement of Ralph Krueger will show as the epic blunder and it is not even close!

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    The AHL has a new streaming service and, in addition to other packaged, you can buy:

    – All games, all teams – US$80
    – All games, one team – US$60

    Will definitely get the Condors’ package.

    The only issue is so many of the games start at 8 mountain and, given i wake up at 2:30am every day…..

  49. Ryan says:

    anjinsan:
    Various fans often ascribe responsibility for moves since the draft of ’15 to the old boys club.
    I think it’s important to remember that Lowe and MacTavish were removed from posts and replaced by the cascade of Nicholson, Chiarelli, and McLellan so as not to blow the McDavid years.And Chiarelli obviously insisted on being President in addition to GM so he would have control.Chiarelli did not take the job in order to have the old boys club tell him what to do.The trades, contracts, and the team building vision are all Chiarelli’s doing — and his moves have been consistent with his past moves.

    Anyone got a link to the video of Chiarelli announcing the trade at the draft floor?

    His pained facial expression read, “holy @#$&, I cant believe they’re making me do this.”

    Never under estimate the impact of someone else whispering in the king’s ear. The buck stops at Katz.

    I do think the Larsson trade had Chiarelli’s fingerprints all over it. The Eberle trade… Lucic and the Russell contract too.

    Reinhart, not so much.

    We’ll never know.

  50. jm363561 says:

    pts2pndr: This is true in so far as history will show. If you were to look at the Oilers since their inception the hiring of Dallas Eakins and replacement of Ralph Krueger will show as the epic blunder and it is not even close!

    That is my feeling for what it is worth. I have heard the argument that MacT failing to sign Petry started the chain reaction that led to the Hall trade. Had Ralph stayed I believe Petry would have resigned. But, as has been said before, in this scenario there would likely have been no Lottery ball bouncing our way; no Lucic; Demers would be our 2RD; Ralph (or Todd Nelson) would be coach; Matt Barzal would be an Oiler; and OP would have to find someone other than Brad Malone to pick on. Good day from an epic Manila traffic jam.

  51. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    jm363561,

    – MacT as GM put us in the position where we are, no MacT, no CmD, full stop…

    – CONNER MCDAVID IS OUR CAPTAIN FOR 8 MORE YEARS AT LEAST….EOWWWWW

    – Thanks be to MacT

  52. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    The AHL has a new streaming service and, in addition to other packaged, you can buy:

    – All games, all teams – US$80
    – All games, one team – US$60

    Will definitely get the Condors’ package.

    The only issue is so many of the games start at 8 mountain and, given i wake up at 2:30am every day…..

    You’re getting up at 2:30 am now? I thought it was 3:30?

    Too bad you’re a partner in a law firm, or I’d hire you to be my personal trainer and life coach.

    How about a wake call at at 5:30, so I can go downstairs to my home gym to get back in shape?

  53. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    “i wake up at 2:30am every day…..”

    Me too. Wake up @ 2:30. Bathroom break. Back to bed.

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    It got progressively earlier and earlier but its been 2:30 since I got back from Hong Kong on New Years Day.

    I used to give my wife (then g/f) wake-up calls all the time, I do have experience….

  55. jtblack says:

    Let’s face it. Pretty much everything needs to break right for Edm to improve by 16+ points and make playoffs.

    If there are 10 “If’s”; we need 8 to go our way.

    And if Connor were to miss more than 15 games, we in Trouble.

  56. JimmyV1965 says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Dom’s Oilers preview is scathing, and a lot of uncomfortable truths

    We’ll need Talbot to rebound to his previous levels for any chance.

    I don’t have any real expectations on Koskinen.The fact he played on a strong team, and his SV% was not materially better than his backup (0.937 vs 0.933) is concerning.The decision to pay him 2.5M, along with Caggiula overpay and Grbya buyout has cost opportunities to lock up Nurse long-term.They’ll pay for it down the road.

    Lucic possibly may go from difficult to trade to untradeable.Missed opportunity if there was a deal to be had this summer.

    This team, best case, makes the playoffs.They need Puljujarvi or Yamamoto to become difference makers.

    Which is a problem, 4 years into McDavid’s career.

    That Hall trade cost us a chance to be a contender.

    Man.

    These types of models make for interesting water cooler talk, but their predictive value is negligible IMO. Do they account for in internal growth with young teams or sudden declines in performance for aging teams?

    This model may be better than the rest, but forecasting team performance is almost impossible, outside the very best and worst in the league. Predicting the middle tier would be very challenging. I assume his model wasn’t very accurate last year because there were a bunch of teams that made the playoffs the year before and missed last year.

    The core players for the Oil are very young and could possibly improve dramatically next year. McDavid won’t likely hit his zenith in point production until next year or the year after. He should still improve bigtime this year. Is it even possible to account for this.

  57. HT Joe says:

    jtblack: Let’s face it. Pretty much everything needs to break right for Edm to improve by 16+ points and make playoffs.
    If there are 10 “If’s”; we need 8 to go our way.
    And if Connor were to miss more than 15 games, we in Trouble.

    If Nurse sits out a bunch of games because the Oilers are playing hardball with his contract (combined with the Sekera injury), the Oilers may be in trouble even if Connor plays the full season without injury.

  58. godot10 says:

    HT Joe: If Nurse sits out a bunch of games because the Oilers are playing hardball with his contract (combined with the Sekera injury), the Oilers may be in trouble even if Connor plays the full season without injury.

    The OIlers have a contingency plan is they can’t get Nurse signed. Jason Garrison and a tanning machine.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack:
    Let’s face it. Pretty much everything needs to break right for Edm to improve by 16+ points and make playoffs.

    If there are 10 “If’s”; we need 8 to go our way.

    And if Connor were to miss more than 15 games, we in Trouble.

    I would posit that a rebound in goaltending, not even to 2016/17 levels but to solid starter level, gets 10 points right there.

    A Special Teams turnaround should also lead a substantial point gain.

    The PP will almost undoubtedly be better – drawing more PPs and scoring at a higher rate – even without factoring in a healthy Klefbom and Viverios it should be better.

    The PK added two plus PKers and was already much improved (best in the league from February 1 on – coinciding with McLellan taking over from Johnson and Letestu and Caggulia being replaced with Strome).

    Yes, some overlap with PK and tending.

  60. Rebillled says:

    Remember the Sekera injury to start last year? (Sekera is injured to start this year)

    The goaltending? (We have the same goalie plus a (hopefully very good) KHL goalie)

    Rieder, Brodziak, and Jerabek.

    Go McDavid!

  61. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would posit that a rebound in goaltending, not even to 2016/17 levels but to solid starter level, gets 10 points right there.

    A Special Teams turnaround should also lead a substantial point gain.

    The PP will almost undoubtedly be better – drawing more PPs and scoring at a higher rate – even without factoring in a healthy Klefbom and Viverios it should be better.

    The PK added two plus PKers and was already much improved (best in the league from February 1 on – coinciding with McLellan taking over from Johnson and Letestu and Caggulia being replaced with Strome).

    Yes, some overlap with PK and tending.

    Agaain. those are 3 “If’s”. and I do agree with regression to the mean. They almost HAVE to be better cause it would be tough to be worse.

    But I disagree that those 3 things add 16+ points.

    This was a 78 point team.

    WG believes a Solid Top 4 equates to winning. We don’t have that. And if 1 injury strikes (or prolonged holdout); then what?

    I think we definitely improve, but I don’t believe enough to hit hit 94 or 95 points

  62. jtblack says:

    Rebillled:
    Remember the Sekera injury to start last year? (Sekera is injured to start this year)

    The goaltending? (We have the same goalie plus a (hopefully very good) KHL goalie)

    Rieder, Brodziak, and Jerabek.

    Go McDavid!

    Fool me once. Shame on you.

    Fool me twice. Shame on me.

    We all got fooled last year ……… WE WAIT

  63. Andy Dufresne says:

    Last year they played like they beleived they were as good as their best win.
    I hope this year they realize they are only as good as their worst loss.

    No more losses to Buffalo and the Canucks….thats 10 points right there.

    Combine that with elimination of Talbots first shot goals and thats another 10 points.

    Nuge locked to Conners hip for the entire season, Lucic rebounds, JP comes around, Klefbom and Nurse chip in offensively……hell……we win the Presidents Trophy!

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rebillled:
    Remember the Sekera injury to start last year? (Sekera is injured to start this year)

    The goaltending? (We have the same goalie plus a (hopefully very good) KHL goalie)

    Rieder, Brodziak, and Jerabek.

    Go McDavid!

    Heading in to last year Sekera was the incumbent 2LD that carried Kris Russell in the pairing.

    Coming in to this season, Darnell Nurse is the incumbent 2LD (who carried Kris Russell when they were playing 1st pairing minutes with Larsson out and Klefbom with one shoulder).

    Not to mention the injuries to Klefbom and Larsson last year.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack: Agaain.those are 3 “If’s”.and I do agree with regression to the mean. They almost HAVE to be better cause it would be tough to be worse.

    But I disagree that those 3 things add 16+ points.

    This was a 78 point team.

    WG believes a Solid Top 4 equates to winning.We don’t have that.And if 1 injury strikes (or prolonged holdout); then what?

    I think we definitely improve, but I don’t believe enough to hit hit 94 or 95 points

    Yup, they are 3 “ifs”, however, as you acknowledge, if much more likely than not that each of them come to fruition.

    I think goaltending and special teams are 2 of the biggest factors in NHL hockey these days so they could/should add up to material points.

    2016/17 playoff top 4D

    Klefbom/Larsson
    Sekera/Russell

    2018/19 projected top 4D
    Klefbom/Larsson (both approaching prime)
    Nurse/Benning (Russell)

    Nurse may not quite be at the level of 2016/17 Sekera but he very well could be very good in that position – he played 1LD for much of last year and did very well – a plus player on a negative goal differential team at evens.

  66. Richard S.S. says:

    Peter Chiarelli took over a very sad-sack Team used to losing that had only made the Playoffs once in close to a generation, and not in a decade. The Team would be drafting a generational Star through unbelievable miraculous luck and had three top A-Listers on the Roster. The rest of the roster consisted of players not good enough, players really not good enough and players not good enough yet. The Team had no other assets, not enough Cap Space, a huge number of holes that needed to be replaced or filled and a boatload of draft picks.

    Peter Chiarelli had to swing for the fences with every move he made to drag this Team out of the stink and mire of the sewer. Some stuff worked very well. Some stuff worked so-so. Some stuff didn’t work. That’s life. One year later the Oilers were in the playoffs. I’d call that a huge success for Peter Chiarelli. More will come.

  67. limit says:

    Nice Top 100 list from Sportsnet, so on average a team is expected to have 3 players in Top 100.

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/top-100-nhl-players-2018-19-full-list/

    Unfortunately Oilers have only 2 (Connor and Leon) and would have had a 3rd in Hall if not Chiarelli.

    Contenders have 5-6:

    Jets 6: Scheifele, Wheeler, Laine, Byfuglien, Hellebuyck, Ehlers
    Nas 6: Subban, Josi, Forsberg, Rinne, Ellis, Ardvidsson
    Bos 6: Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak, Rask, McAvoy, Chara
    TB 5:Hedman, Kucherov, Stamkos, Point, Vasilevskiy
    Pens 5: Sid, Geno, Kessel, Murray, Letang
    Caps 5: Ovi, Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Carlson, Holtby

    Oilers aren’t getting to 5-6 top 100 players until Puljujarvi/Yama/Bouchard cluster in a few years (2022-2023)

    Connor, Drai, Puljujarvi, Yama, Bouchard, Nurse/Nuge

    Heck 89-90 Oilers had
    Messier, Kurri, Anderson, Ranford, Simpson, Tikkanen

    Sad we’re still a long ways away, may have been little closer with
    Connor, Taylor, Leon, Nuge, Eberle, Talbot

  68. JimmyV1965 says:

    jtblack:
    Let’s face it. Pretty much everything needs to break right for Edm to improve by 16+ points and make playoffs.

    If there are 10 “If’s”; we need 8 to go our way.

    And if Connor were to miss more than 15 games, we in Trouble.

    I think they have to get off to a decent start. There were times last year when the team simply gave up. They were beaten down and lacked the will to battle back. I was at the Red Wings game and Detroit scored on their first shot (it was a fluke goal) and the team simply gave up. They lost the will to win after that and went through the motions the rest of the way. It was painful to watch. That type of thing happened multiple times last year. If they are feeling positive and confident that doesn’t happen. How many points did we give up simply because they lacked confidence. The game was over after the first goal. Against the Red Wings.

  69. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would posit that a rebound in goaltending, not even to 2016/17 levels but to solid starter level, gets 10 points right there.

    – Instead of 14 games where first shot goes in its only 7 games: that’s 14 points right there…

  70. Wilde says:

    JimmyV1965: I assume his model wasn’t very accurate last year because there were a bunch of teams that made the playoffs the year before and missed last year.

    Your wallet would thank you if you bet on Dom or Emmanuel Perry’s outputs last year.

    It’s about being the least wrong.

  71. russ99 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would posit that a rebound in goaltending, not even to 2016/17 levels but to solid starter level, gets 10 points right there.

    A Special Teams turnaround should also lead a substantial point gain.

    The PP will almost undoubtedly be better – drawing more PPs and scoring at a higher rate – even without factoring in a healthy Klefbom and Viverios it should be better.

    The PK added two plus PKers and was already much improved (best in the league from February 1 on – coinciding with McLellan taking over from Johnson and Letestu and Caggulia being replaced with Strome).

    Yes, some overlap with PK and tending.

    Well here’s the problem. All of those are interrelated, and has less to do with goaltending and more to do with our skaters playing as a five man unit behind the center line. You could make a strong case that much of Talbot’s fall off last year was due to a lack of confidence/overwork resulting from a ton of major blunders in front of him.

    Hope the new assistants do something about that this year. Adding better defensive forwards in Brodziak and Reider should help.

    I see that Nurse is quoted to “focus on offense” this year. Not that again. The Oilers as a team need to get that goals against number way down first.

  72. Wilde says:

    limit:
    Nice Top 100 list from Sportsnet, so on average a team is expected to have 3 players in Top 100.

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/top-100-nhl-players-2018-19-full-list/

    Unfortunately Oilers have only 2 (Connor and Leon) and would have had a 3rd in Hall if not Chiarelli.

    Contenders have 5-6:

    Jets 6: Scheifele, Wheeler, Laine, Byfuglien, Hellebuyck, Ehlers
    Nas 6: Subban, Josi, Forsberg, Rinne, Ellis, Ardvidsson
    Bos 6: Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak, Rask, McAvoy, Chara
    TB 5:Hedman, Kucherov, Stamkos, Point, Vasilevskiy
    Pens 5: Sid, Geno, Kessel, Murray, Letang
    Caps 5: Ovi, Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Carlson, Holtby

    Oilers aren’t getting to 5-6 top 100 players until Puljujarvi/Yama/Bouchard cluster in a few years (2022-2023)

    Connor, Drai, Puljujarvi, Yama, Bouchard, Nurse/Nuge

    Heck 89-90 Oilers had
    Messier, Kurri, Anderson, Ranford, Simpson, Tikkanen

    Sad we’re still a long ways away, may have been little closer with
    Connor, Taylor, Leon, Nuge, Eberle, Talbot

    A few things I’d quibble with about this list –

    – If you get to ignore Letang’s PDO and injury problem last year and place him there on past years performance, Klefbom should be there too.

    – Pekka Rinne is a pitcher-wins Vezina winner.

    – Chara is still good, but not a top 100 player.

    – Carlson isn’t even the 2nd best defenceman on the Caps.

    – If you get to wave away Murray’s year, you can do the same to Talbot.

    – Speaking of which, literally in-the-article they say the list is about /right now/, as in the past season. Some of these players had straight up bad years.

    – Duncan Keith is on this list and he had by far the worst year in his career and had one of the most negative impacts on his team of any player in the league, as a result of playing him in a ridiculous amount of ridiculously hard minutes while he’s falling off of a cliff.

    – Victor Hedman is the #4 Best Player in the NHL on this list.

    – Jack Eichel is 30 spots higher than Ryan O’Reilly.

    – Jonathan Marshessault is almost 20 spots lower than William Karlsson.

    – Jaden Schwartz is absent from this list.

    – Sebastian Aho is absent from this list.

    – Mikael Granlund is absent from this list.

    – Brendan Gallagher is absent from this list.

    Bottom line? This is a list compiled from ‘NHL Insider”s opinions. Their views will shift sometimes years after a player has actually proven themselves. Their evaluations require team success in order to credit personal achievement. This means they will always be later to the truth than reality.

    What I mean to imply here, is that the Oilers will only have 5+ players on this list well after they begin to win, even though they could only do the winning if the players were already of that calibre. Our players will only be credited to their actual value long after that value is established.

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